Hypnobirthing Techniques and Tips
KGH is a complete antenatal education programme that supports you and your birth partner to explore, empower and discover how calm, confident and positive your baby’s birth can be.
Culture of Fear
From time immemorial our birth culture has been one of fear, with horror stories passed down from generations of women, strangers, friends and colleagues. British media shows ‘warts and all’ documentaries following women having difficult, painful and frightening birth experiences, where mum has to be rescued by medical staff.
Confident and Calm
Quite simply, we have lost much of our innate knowledge about how birth should be. Hypnobirthing aims to create the learning environment where magic happens - mothers, fathers, families and friends experience the confident and calm pregnant women making decisions that suit her body and her baby, using the KGHypnobirthing tools, techniques and information to make empowered choices that will affect her family positively for life.
KGHypnobirthing - support for ALL types of births
Hypnobirthing sounds hippy dippy, and too many people feel that Hypnobirthing is only for a natural birth, or for hippies, or for a certain type of woman, and that it means no pain relief or that you must have a water birth. None of this is true. Hypnobirthing provides you with the skills to make the decisions that fit in with your ideal of how birth can be, which puts mums firmly in charge. A lot of women come to Hypnobirthing wanting to be in control, having heard how undignified birth can be. But it honestly doesn’t have to be this way. You can birth however you want, with whoever you want, and if you have special circumstances that dictate a medicalised birth, KGHypnobirthing can still support you every step of the way.
Role of the birth partner
Hypnobirthing is for everyone - and everyone includes dad (and birth partners) too - which many antenatal courses overlook. Dads report feeling protective, confident and happy that they have a central role in supporting mum and baby as the birth progresses. Dads talk about how much more bonded they feel to their baby, and how much closer they become to mum as they are invited into the birthing plans, owning their spot bedside mum, using the techniques and working the scripts with mum, reassuring her and helping her to remain calm and focussed. Dads usually are the biggest sceptics when they arrive at our course, and our biggest supporters by the end.
What are the Hypnobirthing techniques?
Techniques are all encompassing, ranging from birth breathing for the ‘up’ and ‘down’ stage of Hypnobirthing, the birthing environment, and light touch massage – and relaxations read from special scripts used to activate a calm response in mum. ‘Up’ breathing may look like breathing in through your nose deeply whilst imagining the sun rising, or a flower opening. This breathing technique is used during the early stages of labour, as the cervix dilates and lengthens in preparation for birth. This would be from 0 - 10cm dilation. The ‘down’ stage of labour uses similar techniques using breath work, but imagining rain drops falling for example, or a waterfall. Your teacher can explore imagery that works for you, and how to implement the correct breath work so that you are using your breathing to your advantage whilst you give birth.
How do these techniques work?
The birth breathing alongside the hypnosis techniques supports mum to remain in the calm mode, and whilst you’re in this mode you’re best placed to produce birth homones which are essential for a gentle, easier birth experience.
Oxytocin is essentially the star of the show. Oxytocin is the hormone of love, it is produced when we fall in love, when we make love, and when we breastfeed. It is also essential for your contractions starting. The more oxytocin you have in your body, the quicker and more effective your birth will be. This is because oxytocin allows the muscles to function to their full capacity, whilst your cervix softens and draws upwards in preparation for baby’s birth. The more of this hormone you produce the better and easier you will experience birth. In calm mode, your body can produce copious amounts of oxytocin. You will also produce endorphins which, when combined with oxytocin, act as a pain reliever, allowing some mothers to feel pressure instead if pain. The pain they do feel is manageable as this hormonal combination acts as effective as a shot of morphine.
Do I need to know anything else?
Use your techniques and practise daily. Without this, you will not get the ‘results’ you’re looking for. Every woman, baby and birth is different. Setting realistic expectations for your birth and how KGHypnobirthing can support you gives you the confidence to achieve the positive birth experience you so hope for. But you are the one giving birth, so ultimately the power comes from you.
Take complete responsibility for your birth experience. By that I mean own your decisions, make choices with all the information available to you. Do not be fobbed off or pushed into decisions you don’t want to make. Use your B.R.A.I.N.S and make sure there’s no instance where you do not know what is happening to you. Have your partner show the same commitment to your birth plans. Consider hiring a doula - a doula is a supporting role for you both, advocating for you both and giving you space and time to make decisions as a family, every step of the way.
Consider the wider picture, making small changes at home that can support you to keep calm - remember being calm is key, as it is being calm that produces the hormones required for a confident and calm hypnobirth. Listen to what your teacher is sharing with you, and listen again. Organise your studies, read the book, focus on the desired outcome and commit to having a positive birth, no matter how your birth goes. Go into it fully informed and with confidence and calm!